Children Of The Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

Director: James Hickox

Starring: Daniel Cerny, Ron Melendez, Jim Metzler

ELI – “We who are young have a vision and that is the gift to us from He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Our greatest harvest is to come!”
T-LOC – “Harvest this, motherfucker.”

Let’s face it, there are only so many corn-related scenarios you can plant before the crop gets spoiled, so after Children Of The Corn and its iffy sequel it was decided to take the series to the streets instead. No longer are we dealing with a town full of creepy-looking Amish kids, instead we’ve got two of them living in the city.

Joshua and his younger brother Eli have been moved from Gatlin to live with foster parents in Chicago. Since they come from Amish backgrounds it takes them a little while to get settled into their new city lifestyles, and this is further compounded by the fact that the younger brother is a fucking maniac.

Eli fell for the "shaken Coke can" trick

Things come to a head when the inseparable brothers go to their new city school and are promptly separated (due to their age), which doesn’t go down too well with Eli. While Joshua tries to fit in, learn the city life and befriend his new classmates, Eli instead starts hatching a plot to make everyone pay. 

For the most part, Children Of The Corn III is a passable but ultimately forgettable yarn where the usual “weird kids getting used to a foster home and new school” tropes are dished out left, right and centre. Meanwhile, a number of dull Omen-style “accidental” killings take place, all seemingly committed by the mysterious He Who Walks Behind The Rows, the evil deity from the first two films.

You've got it upside-down, mate

As Eli starts preaching at his school about He Who Walks Behind The Rows and giving lectures on why adults are so evil but kids are brilliant (or words to that effect), the other children at the school start to take notice and become brainwashed by his teachings, forming a cult of kids ready and willing to destroy the adults. So far, so meh. Having said that, one of the kids is actually a young and uncredited Charlize Theron (see a pic here) so it’s all swings and roundabouts.

"Well this monster doesn't seem so bad, I reckon I can WHAT IN THE WORLD OF FUCK I'M BECOMING PIXELLATED"

It seems that Children Of The Corn III is going to trundle along to a boring ending until Eli decides he and his army of kids should go back to Gatlin and try to summon He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Then things get fucking INSANE, with a huge ridiculous monster bursting out of the ground and wrecking the place, eating kids and flailing tentacles all over the place. It’s also home to some of the worst special effects you’ll ever see, where the monster picks up a kid who is clearly a crude model miniature of a person.

So, Children Of The Corn III, then. Bullshit for the first 70 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of complete lunacy that makes no sense whatsoever but is oddly compelling for its sheer shitness. I suppose I could say it’s a little… corny? No, no, I couldn’t possibly.

The UK standalone DVD is out of print now but you can still get it cheap for a couple of quid if you look around. A much better option is Anchor Bay’s box set which features the first three Children Of The Corn films. It’s currently £5.99 on Amazon here. There’s no fancy box set in the US, only the DVD hereand a needless Blu-ray here.

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